The lower chamber of the US Congress on Tuesday unanimously backed legislation supporting Taiwan, which faces military and diplomatic pressure from mainland China as Washington pushes for a harder-edged approach to relations with Beijing. China voiced its anger and said the bill should be blocked. The House of Representatives passed the measures as the United States and China continued months-long trade talks. Beijing said on Tuesday that Vice-Premier Liu He would travel to Washington this week, setting up a last-ditch effort for a deal that would avoid a steep increase in tariffs ordered by US President Donald Trump. The house voted 414-0 for a non-binding resolution that reaffirmed the US’ commitment to Taiwan. It also backed by a unanimous voice vote the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, which supports Taiwan and urges it to increase its defence spending. It said Washington should conduct “regular transfers of defence articles to Taiwan consistent with Taiwan’s national security requirements” and support Taipei’s participation in international organisations. There was no word on when the assurance act might be up for a vote in the Senate, which would be required before it could become law. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the bill was an interference in China’s internal affairs and China had had lodged “stern representations” with Washington about it. China fires up drills near Taiwan Strait in test of combat strength Beijing urged the US to block the bill’s progress and “appropriately handle Taiwan-related issues to avoid seriously harming China-US cooperation on important areas and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, Geng said. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it welcomed the “positive” move and expressed its gratitude. Taiwan would “continue to work hand in hand with the US authorities to firmly deepen the Taiwan-US partnership”, it said. Both measures reflected US concern over any efforts by Beijing to influence Taiwan. Washington has no formal ties with Taipei, but is bound by law to help provide the island with the means to defend itself and is its main source of arms. Beijing regards Taiwan as its territory and regularly refers to it as the most sensitive and important issue in ties with the US. The House of Representatives foreign affairs committee scheduled five hearings this week on the relationship between the US and China.